A comprehensive reading implies organizing the information in a way that allows the main ideas to stand out and let the person identify the existing relationships between the different pieces of information. I feel that, for the sake of clarity, it is important to define “idea” as noun that represents a thought or suggestion.
Various ways can be used to represent the information graphically: brainstorming charts, concept maps, diagrams, descriptive map, etc.
A good graphic organizer should inform not only about the relevant ideas, but also about the structure of the text, its construction, and the type of information it contains; whether it refers to descriptions, stories with a specific chronological order, to people with a causal role, or to generalizations accompanied by the corresponding examples, etc.
As long as the model used for the graphic representation is ordered, it facilitates, in the process of acquiring information, the efficient organization and storage of the data.
To create or develop the appropriate graphic organizer for the relational structure of the information of the text we need to work on, we can use as a reference one of the proposed models, or come up with a different one that we consider pertinent.
What’s the purpose of graphic organizers?
- To compress the information
- To get into focus the purpose of communication
- To show the information collected
- To show the information that still needs to be gathered
- To locate the key concepts
- To organize the information in a spatial way
- To establish relations between ideas
- To serve as mind maps
What do we need to plan a graphic organizer?
- To determine the information to be included
- To determine the information to be omitted
- To choose a design format in accord with the content
- To represent the relations between the ideas
- To be able to express the essential content in the title
TYPES OF GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS
BRACE MAP: A synopsis is a summary of the main ideas of a text, exposed in an analytical way and organized in order to show the internal structure of the text. It is also possible to show through this diagram many texts that can be compared. Brace maps can be drawn through brackets which is the usual way, and in which the ideas are written as summaries or sections.
The brace or brackets map is the most appropriate one for those topics with many classifications and it has the advantage of being the most graphic of all, and therefore it facilitates the exercise of visual memory. The biggest disadvantage is that it puts all the text on the right side, making it necessary for the letters to be very small and making the text very compressed.
DIAGRAM: It is a graphic representation of a phenomenon, a fact, a piece of knowledge or a topic expressed through geometric figures. Due to its structure, a diagram facilitates the understanding and memorizing.
To create them, one needs to organize the concepts establishing the most number of relations. The main topic is placed on the middle and from there derive the divisions or secondary concepts. The diagram is used when a topic has secondary concepts that are related.
CONCEPT MAP: It is a graph of concepts that are related through truth values. The concept map is a working tool that helps dealing with concepts and representations. It helps expanding our knowledge on what we already know about a concept or topic; they are graphic representations with hierarchical structures that show how the clauses are related. Geometric figures such as ellipses are generally used to enclose the words or statements.
It is organized in hierarchical levels:
- The first level represents the topic that will be summarized in the concept map,
- The second level represents the definition
- The third level represents the characteristics of the topic
- The fourth level shows classifications
- The fifth level shows examples
The basic elements are:
- The Like regularities in the events or objects that are designed through a term. (Novak)
- The Is the smallest semantic unit that posses a truth value. It consists of concepts and linking words.
- The linking words. Words that link the concepts and express the type of relationship between them.
In the concept map, all these elements are related graphically, forming semantic chains, which have meaning.
It is essential to consider that there isn’t only one “right” concept map, the important are the relations between the concepts expressed through the linking words in order to form clauses that form a truth value about the studied object. Therefore, many truth values can be formed around a concept.